S.C. has high-speed Internet availability, though lower than average usage

Staff report
Published Sept. 6, 2011

South Carolina has more high-speed Internet availability than other Southeastern states, though use of high-speed Internet by Palmetto State households falls below the national average, the director of a trade group reported to the S.C. Public Service Commission recently.

The state has broadband connections available to 99% of households, though 62% of households connect to the Internet, compared to the national average of 67%. Studies have shown correlations between education and Internet usage, according to a news release about the statistics, which came during an Aug. 25 workshop held by the S.C. Public Service Commission.

Jerry Pate, executive director of the S.C. Telecommunications Association, said the data includes wired connections, fixed wireless and mobile broadband.

South Carolina ranks ahead of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi in available wired connections and mobile broadband service.

Pate also said connections for education, government, business and industry are usually customized and are set up by certain programs, including the K-12 Technology Initiative, which provides high-speed connections to schools at discounted prices. The Division of State Information Technology administers the program.

South Carolina also was the first state to provide Internet connections for every library.

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